Foxhunting in Kansas cattle country is the "real deal" in true western foxhunting style! All 40 participants were well received by our hosts meeting at a cattle ranch each day, being greeted by local ranchers upon pulling in the driveway and getting offered a cold can of beer at the end of a long day in the saddle!
Moingona Hunt members ensured that the six hunts in attendance felt welcomed - Bridlespur, Full Cry, Mill Creek and three new attendees - Genesee Valley, Moore County and Hillsboro Hounds. Hosting a performance trial is really the ultimate joint meet. We were once again impressed with Moingona Huntsman Ken George and his skills to give the hounds plenty of hunting opportunities each day. Watching the 36 competing hounds come together and hunt as a pack, in harmony was definitely a moment that is the reason many people hunt.
The performance trial spanned three days with hunting and judging from Friday, March 8th through Sunday, March 10th. Full Cry Hounds put in another record year of impressive skills walking away with the top seed for the second year in a row with awards for top pack and top hound Full Cry Luxury and in second place overall for hounds was Full Cry Clifton, who won the trial overall in 2012. Each hunt had several hounds placing well in many of the divisions. Awards are given for hunting, trailing, marking, full cry, speed and drive, overall hound and pack for the day and overall for all days. An impromptu Huntsman's Choice award went to Genesee Valley Junction as well!
The hounds that stood out the most visually were the Penn-Marydel hounds of the Moore County pack. Getting toparticipate in an event of this sort really is a gift, getting to see so many foxhounds of different shape, size and bloodlines working together in the field doing what they do best.
Hunting in the Flint Hills requires a rider who's able to make split second decisions with open, grassy terrain loaded with random sections of shoebox size flint rocks, while maneuvering the washed out gullies and dry creeks , many times at a full out gallop. Tommy and Jessica Ghrist's 12 year old daughter Gwendolynn and her friend Garrett braved the elements and certainly proved their skills in foxhunting proficiency. The future of foxhunting is strong in the Flint Hills with these accomplished juniors in the field of veteran riders!
Weather was the biggest variable going from a wonderfully warm (for those of us from the frigid north), sunny Friday in the 60's, to Saturday with on and off misty rain, and then there was Sunday. Sunday certainly tested the endurance of everyone in the saddle. The day began with riding in misty rain, then sleet, then snow, just enough to freeze and stick to our wax coats! There were strong 40 mile an hour winds the whole day as hounds covered over 25 miles. No worries, though, we still had some great hunting, and it was a great foxhunting bonding experience for everyone in the field helping us to appreciate the little things like dry clothes, tack and horses.
2013 Moingona Hunt Flint Hills Performance Trials Results: OVERALL
PLACE TEAM BASE POINTS HGA
1st Full Cry 628 497.5
2nd Hillsboro 641.5 376.5
3rd Mill Creek 446 345
4th Moore County 496 277.5
5th Bridlespur 409 232.5
6th Genesee 295.5 67.5
2013 Moingona Hunt Flint Hills Performance Trials Results: HUNTING
PLACE TEAM BASE POINTS HGA
1st Full Cry 180 100
2nd Moore County 170 65
3rd Mill Creek 115 45
4th Genesee Valley 110 30
5th Hillsboro 130 20
6th Bridlespur 130 15